* Oil's risk premium rises after fresh U.S. sanctions
* Oil trader Gunvor co-founder Timchenko included in list
* Moscow says it will respond in kind
(Updates with settlement prices, adds CFTC data)
By Elizabeth Dilts
NEW YORK, March 21 Crude oil futures rose on
Friday as fresh U.S. and European sanctions on Russia renewed
fears of a supply disruption from the world's second largest oil
The European Union imposed sanctions against the Russian
deputy prime minister, two aides to President Vladimir Putin and
nine others on Friday, adding to the nearly two dozen prominent
Russians Washington sanctioned on Thursday, including Gennady
Timchenko, co-founder of oil trading firm Gunvor.
Within hours of Thursday's sanctions, Gunvor announced
Timchenko had sold his near 50 percent stake in the company to
allow the firm, which handles almost 3 percent of global oil
supplies, to avoid disruptions to its operations.
Brent rose 47 to settle at $106.92 per barrel,
having earlier spiked $1.32 to a session high of $107.77 per
barrel. The European benchmark still fell for a fourth week in a
A seasonal slump in demand has led to a near 5 percent price
slide since the beginning of March, when Brent briefly jumped to
a three-month high above $112 as Russia took control of
Ukraine's Crimea region.
U.S. crude for May delivery, which became the
front-month contract on Friday, settled 56 cents higher at
$99.46 per barrel, rising modestly after falling for the week
"This move is an example of headline risk, and so it will be
fairly short term," said Chris Nelder, an independent energy
analyst and author of Profit from the Peak oil investment book.
"Crude futures prices could move $2 plus or minus as the
latest developments in Crimea evolve. If we are concerned we
will see American troops going to war, we could see (U.S. oil)
rise to $105 very easily. If not, we could fall back to $97,"
The U.S. dollar was weaker against a basket of other
currencies, providing support for oil and commodities priced in
Money managers cut their net long U.S. crude futures and
options positions last week, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
While Timchenko said he had sold his stake in Gunvor before
being sanctioned by the United States on Thursday, the fact that
a major energy trader has been dragged into a growing political
stand-off over Ukraine added to market concerns.
Gunvor, which had a turnover of $93 billion in 2012, grew
rapidly by trading large volumes of oil from Russian state
companies such as Rosneft at the end of last decade.
Since then, it ceded its leading positions and now focuses
on trading in Europe and Asia.
President Barack Obama threatened broad penalties against
sectors of Russia's economy if Moscow moves deeper into Ukraine.
Senior administration officials said many parts of the
Russian economy could be targeted, including energy, defence,
mining and financial services sectors.
European leaders on Thursday added 12 people to a list of
those subject to travel bans and asset freezes for their part in
Russia's seizure of Crimea and will begin preparations for trade
and economic measures if Russia expands its footprint in
Shares on the Moscow stock exchange - which have lost $70
billion of their value this month - fell sharply in response to
(Additional reporting by David Sheppard in London and Jacob
Gronholt-Pedersen in Singapore; Editing by Jane Baird, Sophie
Hares, Tom Brown and Marguerita Choy)